Three days before the FIFA Women’s World Cup Final, we co-hosted an Equality Summit in Gadigal (Sydney), Australia to discuss critical issues facing women, girls, and equity at large in football. Player safety and security was a topic we discussed at length.
We ended the Equality Summit feeling invigorated, inspired, and connected. And shortly after, we collectively witnessed the historic victory for Spain Women’s Football team, a well-deserved win for a team that dominated the tournament. What hope we felt for the future of equality in sport was short-lived. We are outraged by Luis Rubiales’s actions; from unprofessionally and inappropriately grabbing his crotch and kissing Jennifer Hermoso without her consent to gaslighting the players, victim blaming and threatening to sue Hermoso. The response from Spain’s Football Federation was equally abhorrent. When Hermoso needed care and support, the Federation made threats and dismissed an assault that was witnessed around the world.
Sadly, these actions come as no surprise as the Spain Women’s Football Team has attempted to shed light on the unprofessional and unsafe working conditions they have been experiencing for years prior to kickoff of the World Cup.
As organizers of the 2023 Equality Summit, we stand with Jennifer Hermoso, Spain Women’s Football Team, and all women in sport who deserve safety and to be treated with dignity and respect.
For decades, female athletes have been subjected to unfair wages, fewer resources, inferior support and poor treatment. Time’s up. We demand accountability for Spain Women’s Football Team.
Safety is a human right. The Federation must act now to reestablish player safety and restore trust. #ContigoJenni.